I want to take the opportunity to discuss one of Gulfport’s strengths with regards to our business community. While many cities are lucky to have their own Chamber of Commerce, we are fortunate enough to have three different groups representing businesses in the Gulfport area: the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce, the Gulfport Merchant’s Association (GMA) and the South 49th Street Business Association (So49). All of these groups work hard to support their member businesses, and even to recruit additional membership. All of these groups do good work in the community and give of themselves to build economic prosperity in our city. I have been fortunate enough to work with all of our business associations on multiple occasions, and to see firsthand their dedication in action.
As mayor, I want to make a request of the Chamber, GMA and So49. It is my belief that council and city staff will be in a better position to assist in your endeavors if we are hearing a common message from each of you. To this end, I would like to see one representative from each of our three business associations meet quarterly in order to keep one another apprised of your plans, ideas and directions. Subsequently, it would be valuable to have this representative trio provide an informal report to council and staff at regular intervals at our regular meetings. Speaking for myself, I think this would be a great step toward increasing our already collaborative relationships, and further integrating the drive and talents of these three groups.
In short, it will help council to help you to help our city. Thanks for your consideration, and thanks for all you do. I look forward to our continuing partnership for the good of Gulfport, and to your participation in the September 6th workshop at 3:30 p.m. in council chambers.